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Total transport authorities: A new deal for town and rural bus services

19 August 2015

This report from the think tank IPPR proposes the creation of ‘Total Transport Authorities’, which can enable a whole-network approach designed to meet the needs non-metropolitan areas.

The report highlights how England’s networks of buses provide an essential service. They support those without access to a car, ease congestion on roads, reduce carbon emissions and improve the quality of life for many groups including the elderly, unemployed and low-income workers, people with disabilities and younger people.

Yet despite their importance, bus services (outside London) are stalling due to a ‘vicious cycle’ of falling patronage, rising fares and local government funding cuts.

The report also shows how new regulatory models such as franchising and the growth of alternative business models such as social enterprises, plus technology solutions such as smart ticketing can come together to address these issues. As a consequence, the report proposes the creation of ‘Total Transport Authorities’ (TTAs).